Childsplay, the acclaimed theater for young audiences, and Black Theatre Troupe, one of the longest consecutive running Black theater companies in the United States, are joining forces to produce AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY. Designed for families and audiences of all ages, AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY is a captivating story of the young Muhammed Ali growing up in the segregated South of the 1950s.
AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY will be performed Saturdays and Sundays from January 27-March 3 at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85034.
At the sound of the bell, young Cassius Clay Jr. takes his first step into the ring and starts becoming the man the world would come to know as Muhammad Ali. Before he became one of the world’s greatest boxers and civil rights advocates, he was a 12-year old boy navigating friendships, family and learning to fight for himself and his community in the segregated South of the 50s.
AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY is directed by Michael Jerome Johnson and features Raphael Hamilton in the title role. Raphael has appeared in several productions with Black Theatre Troupe including last season's Seven Guitars and Broke-ology in 2017. Michael Jerome is a nationally acclaimed fight director and master instructor whose work has been seen at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage and The Shakespeare Theatre.
I spoke with Black Theatre troupe Executive Director David Hemphill and Childsplay Artistic Director Dwayne Hartford for our Valley Views public affairs program. Here is the interview ...